Safeguard Peace and Promote Development
– Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming at the Reception Marking the 91st Anniversary of the People's Liberation Army
Chinese Embassy, 26 July 2018
Air Vice Marshal Warren James, Your Excellencies, Military Attaches, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends:
First of all, a very warm welcome to the Chinese Embassy! It is a great delight to have you all with us tonight to celebrate the 91st anniversary of the People's Liberation Army of China (PLA).
It has been nearly a century since the founding of the PLA. In this century, the world saw much turbulence and incessant wars. There were hot wars and cold wars, regional wars and world wars. In these arduous times, mankind fought decisive battles between justice and evil, and between light and darkness. The lesson of history is clear: Peace is hard won. Peace needs to be valued. Peace must be safeguarded.
And the PLA has lived up to its mission in the past century. It has been devoted wholeheartedly to serving the people. It has forged ahead relentlessly. It has grown from strength to strength. It has made important contribution to the independence of the Chinese nation. It has done its very best for world peace and security.
In the past 91 years, the PLA has been the protector of the Chinese people. Under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, The PLA has always fought for the liberation and happiness of the Chinese people; It has always pursued independence and rejuvenation of the Chinese nation; In this lofty cause, the PLA has braved the flames of war, overcome immense hardships and made tremendous sacrifice. Its tenacity has led it to win one victory after another and make glorious marks in history. In the new era, the PLA strives to achieve new goals, that is, to build a strong military with Chinese characteristics and to provide effective safeguard for pursuing the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.
Looking back, we see that the PLA has been a defender of world peace. In UN peacekeeping missions, China is the largest contributor of peacekeepers among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. The PLA has sent more than 37,000 military personnel to various peacekeeping missions. As we speak, 2,507 Chinese servicemen are on active UN duty around the world. China is the second largest contributor to the UN peacekeeping budget. With $697 million paid in 2017, China accounts for 10.25% of the total budget. At sea, the PLA has to date sent 29 fleets, including 92 naval vessels and 62 helicopters, on escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia. They have altogether escorted the safe passage of over 6,500 ships from around the world, half of which are foreign ships. In international humanitarian operations, the PLA is also taking an active part. It has so far carried out over 30 emergency humanitarian missions. All these speak loud and clear about the PLA's concrete actions of defending world peace and security.
Looking back, we also see that the PLA has been an implementer of the new security concept. The world is undergoing profound changes and transformations. Peace and development remain the theme of our times. But at the same time, world peace and stability face severe challenges from surging protectionism and unilateralism, lingering hegemonism and power politics, chronic regional wars and conflicts, and rising non-traditional threats such as terrorism, transnational crime, epidemics, climate change and refugee crisis. To address these challenges, countries must renounce the cold-war mentality, reject confrontation between blocs of countries and work together. We must come to the conclusion that in this new era, there is no place for absolute security of oneself at the expense of others' security. China champions common, comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable security. In line with this new security concept, China is determined to make important contribution to addressing global challenges.